ERN Statement to Oppose H.R. 734 to Protect Civil Rights

Blogs, Letters & Testimonials

March 27, 2023

View PDF of letter here.

Oppose H.R. 734 to Protect Civil Rights

Dear Member of Congress,

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, and the 177 undersigned organizations, we call for the full inclusion, protection, and celebration of transgender, nonbinary, and intersex youth, including access to extracurricular activities such as athletics and to school facilities, safe and inclusive school environments, and accurate and inclusive curriculum. We reject H.R. 734, the so-called Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023, because it would harm women and girls and undermine civil rights for all students.

This discriminatory proposal seeks to exclude transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people from athletics programs in schools. Although the authors of the legislation represent themselves as serving the interests of cisgender[1] girls and women, this legislation does not address the longstanding barriers all girls and women have faced in their pursuit of athletics. Instead of providing for equal facilities, equipment, and travel, or any other strategy that women athletes have been pushing for for decades, the bill cynically veils an attack on transgender people as a question of athletics policy.[2]

Youth sports often play a significant role in children’s lives and development, helping them to develop critical life skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership. Sports spaces are imperative for all young people, no matter their gender. Transgender, nonbinary, and intersex youth want to participate in team sports for the same reasons as their cisgender peers: to be part of a team, learn sportsmanship, and challenge themselves. School athletics are very often the centerpiece of communities across the country, and denying transgender, nonbinary, and intersex youth the chance to participate only serves to deny them an opportunity to be part of that community, further isolating and stigmatizing these youth.[3]

The civil and human rights community is no stranger to the proffering of a bigoted agenda as if it were about equal opportunity. We know about wolves in sheep’s clothing. We know that when affirmative action policies created to level the playing field in higher education admissions are attacked by opponents of voting rights, that their agenda is not about the rights of people of color.[4] We know that when companies profit from poverty wages for disabled people, especially in segregated work sites, that their agenda is not about independence and self-determination for workers.[5] And we know that when opponents of Title IX, those who have sought for decades to weaken its protections and undermine its enforcement, now present themselves as the law’s champions, that their agenda is not about the rights of women and girls.[6]

Targeting and excluding transgender, nonbinary, and intersex students from participation in school programming, including athletics programs, alongside their cisgender peers is harmful to all students and undermines the learning environment for everyone. If schools mark some students effectively as outcasts, they foster an environment where no student is included and safe. H.R. 734’s vague language and intrusive focus on scrutiny of students’ bodies will effectively exclude girls and women with intersex variations from participation, will invite scrutiny and harassment of any other student perceived by anyone as not conforming to sex stereotypes, and will likely be disproportionately used to target girls and women of color. We support the full inclusion and protection of transgender, nonbinary, and intersex youth.

We are fortunate that transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people are present in our community, and we fully embrace them as members of our community. As organizations that care deeply about ending sex-based discrimination and ensuring equal educational opportunities, we support laws and policies that protect transgender people from discrimination, including full and equal participation in sports, access to gender-affirming care, access to school facilities, and access to inclusive curriculum. We firmly believe that an attack on transgender youth is an attack on civil rights.

We ask all members of Congress to strongly oppose H.R. 734 and to reject attacks on transgender, nonbinary, and intersex youth; to commit themselves to meaningfully advancing policies that support equal opportunity; and to reassure all students in the nation’s classrooms that they will have the chance to learn, grow, and thrive. If you have any questions, please reach out to Liz King, senior program director at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, at


National (107)

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Act To Change

Advocates for Youth

American Association of University Women

American Atheists

American Civil Liberties Union

American Federation of Teachers

American Humanist Association

American School Counselor Association

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Athlete Ally

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Campus Pride

Care in Action

Center for American Progress

Center for Applied Transgender Studies

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR)

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues

Collective Power for Reproductive Justice

Community Catalyst

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

EDGE Consulting Partners

EducateUS: SIECUS In Action

Education Reform Now

Educators for Excellence

End Rape On Campus

Equal Rights Advocates

Equality Federation

Equity Forward

Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program

Family Equality

Feminist Campus

Feminist Majority Foundation

Fenway Institute


Girls Inc.


GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality


Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights

Human Rights Campaign

Human Rights First

Ibis Reproductive Health

If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

Impact Fund

interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth

Interfaith Alliance

Japanese American Citizens League

Juvenile Law Center

Know Your IX

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

Lambda Legal

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund

LPAC Action Network


MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)

Matthew Shepard Foundation


Movement Advancement Project


National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Center for Youth Law

National Council of Jewish Women

National Crittenton

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

National Domestic Workers Alliance

National Education Association

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National LGBT Cancer Network

National Organization for Women

National Recreation and Park Association

National Urban League

National Women’s Law Center


PFLAG National

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Plume Health

PowerOn, a program of LGBT Tech

Public Citizen

Public Justice

Reproductive Rights Coalition

Sexual Violence Prevention Association (SVPA)

SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)

Stanton Ventures


The Advocates for Human Rights

The Sikh Coalition

The Trevor Project


Transgender Law Center

True Colors United

Trust Women

Union for Reform Judaism

Unitarian Universalist Association

United State of Women (USOW)


We Testify

Whole Woman’s Health

Whole Woman’s Health Alliance


State/Local (71)

Acadiana Queer Collective

Aces NYC

Action Together New Jersey

Advocates for Children of New York

African American Office of Gay Concerns

AIDS Foundation Chicago

Arkansas Black Gay Men’s Forum

Avow Texas

Bans Off Miami

Central Florida Jobs with Justice

Chicago Abortion Fund


Colorado Children’s Campaign

DC Abortion Fund

Democrats for Education Reform DC (DFER DC)

DFER Colorado

Disability Law Center

Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance

Education Reform Now Massachusetts

Education Reform Now Texas

Equality California

Equality Florida

Equality Illinois

Equality South Dakota

Equality Virginia


FL National Organization for Women

Florida Council of Churches

Florida Health Justice Project

Gender Justice

GLSEN New Mexico

Greater Orlando National Organization for Women

Indivisible Coalition of Georgia

Indivisible DuPage

Indivisible Miami

Jane’s Due Process


Joy as Resistance

Lafayette Citizens Against Censorship

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Louisiana Citizens Against Censorship

Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom

Louisiana Progress

Louisiana Trans Advocates

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

Mazzoni Center

Men Stopping Violence, Inc.

Missouri Health Care for All

National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis

New Jersey Safe Schools Coalition

New Orleans Youth Alliance

One Colorado

OutFront Minnesota


Pride Action Tank

Pro Choice Missouri

Pro-Choice Connecticut

Pro-Choice North Carolina

Pro-Choice Ohio

Pro-Choice Washington

Progress Florida

Project Butterfly New Orleans

Queer Nortshore

Reproductive Freedom Acadiana

Silver State Equality-Nevada

SOMA Justice of South Orange/Maplewood

St. Tammany Library Alliance

The Parents’ Place of MD

The Womxn Project

Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations

Youth Outlook

[1] The term “cisgender” means that someone’s gender identity is the same as the gender they were thought to be at birth. A transgender person is someone whose gender identity is different from the gender they were thought to be at birth. A person who is nonbinary is someone who does not identify as a woman or a man. A person who is intersex is someone who is born with or naturally develops genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, and/or chromosomes that may be perceived as not fitting binary definitions of “male” or “female.”

[2] For more information about how to sincerely advance gender equity in athletics, see:, and

[3] Denying students the opportunity to participate in athletics because they are transgender, nonbinary, or intersex not only causes the harm of a lost benefit, but anti-LGBTQ policies themselves harm the mental wellbeing of LGBTQ students. See, for example,

[4] Biskupic, Joan. “Challenge to Harvard’s Use of Affirmative Action Was Designed By a Conservative to Reach a Friendly Supreme Court.” CNN. October 31, 2022. Available at:

[5] Hopkins, Madison. “Missouri Allows Some Disabled Workers to Earn Less than $1 an Hour. The State Says It’s Fine If That Never Changes.” The Kansas City Beacon. November 15, 2022. Available at:

[6] See, for example:, and